Wage theft is one of the many issues with the model, yeah, but it opens up other avenues, like subsidies for exclusivity, pure UBI status discrimination, having a known benchmark for price gouging, crowding out small businesses and nonprofits via those subsidies at scale, etc.
And that’s all without regulatory capture. As soon as you involve lobbyists, you get breaks for offering those subsidies, you get oofficially sanctioned service lock-ins, you get the erosion of basic public infrastructure in exchange for small ubi increases, you get erosion of worker rights with the strong argument of “why pay a minimum wage when we have to pay their UBI,” and you get all the potential for meddling welfare had after the new deal.
It’s a wet dream for the neoliberal machine that ends in global corporations having more influence than any other single entity in our society.
I hate how cyberpunk was popularized. In modern pop culture people sugar coat the important “technology isn’t inherently good” and “transhumanism is actually pretty terrifying and bad” bits and skip straight to “HEY COOL! ROBOT ARMS AND NEON!”